Summary: The cross is the center of our Faith, Future, and God’s Favor.
What The Cross Is
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Intro: How are you doing with your New Year’s resolutions? How about those things we talked about early in January? How are you doing?
1. Have you brought a new family to church?
2. Have you shared the Grace of Jesus with a friend or family member?
3. Have you made it a point to look around every Sunday and call someone you know is missing?
4. How are we doing?
Are you ready for the spring of 2006? This spring is going to be GREAT. We are moving into our own new building this year. We are expanding our staff, and ministry at Cowboy Fellowship. We are taking what God gives us and we are using it for His Glory and His Kingdom, and I hope you are ready to make this year GREAT!
As I think about all these wonderful things that we are about to do, and the wonderful things that are about to happen God has burdened my heart to teach and preach on a familiar subject this Spring. I am starting a new series on the Cross.
When God first laid this on my heart, I thought, “WOW, a series on the cross of Christ. That will be great, but what will the people think? What will visitors think? What new things can I teach people about the cross?” As I dove into my Bible, and began to pray and ponder through the scriptures dealing with the cross,
1. I found myself at times..
4. Feeling unworthy,
6. Experiencing the incredible love of God,
7. And so many other things that I really began to, for the first time in my life, understand what the cross WAS and IS, and why it is such a offensive thing to non believers.
So as we head into the Spring, we are going to be studying the Cross of Christ. My prayer is that we will gain a better understanding of who God is, and what he did for each of us, along with keeping our focus on God through all the great things that are going on at the church.
So the Question today is what is the Cross? First it is the CENTER.
Do you think about the Cross every day?
According to Barna Research:
1. More than half of all adults (54%) believe that if a person is generally good, or does enough good things for others during their life, they will earn a place in Heaven. (2005).
2. 51% of Christians and 54% of non-Christians believe that no matter how they feel about money, it is still the main symbol of success in life.
3. The proportion of households that tithe their income to their church – that is, give at least ten percent of their income to that ministry – has dropped by 62% in the past year, from 8% to just 3% of households that tithe at least 10%
4. When contributions are examined as a percentage of household income, giving to religious centers among regular members and attainders represents about 2.2% of annual household income.
5. In 2005 only 34% of Adults’ said they thought it was their personal Responsibility To Tell Other People about Jesus:
There has been too much watering down of the cross in America, and other places around the world. The Cross-is not:
1) Just a symbol that connects Christians
2) Just two pieces of Wood that were put together
3) Just away Romans killed people
4) A basic doctrine that young Christians must learn in order to advance on to deeper things in the faith.
(a) The Cross-is the CENTER of everything in the WORLD.
(iii) And Future
¨ The Cross is at the CENTER of it all.
Þ There is no deeper mystery for the Christian than the Cross.
Þ There is no deeper truth than the Cross
· The Cross is at the center of EVERYTHING!
Þ With that said, let me share with you three things that the cross is the center of, as we began our series on the cross.
I) The center of our Faith
A) The cross represents the absolute center of the Christian Faith.
1) The cross is not just the starting point of the Christian Faith
2) The cross is not just the ending point of the Christian Faith
3) The cross is the CENTER of the Christian FAITH.
(a) Everything in the Christian Faith is birthed out of the Cross of Christ.
(b) The Cross is the center of our faith.
(i) And tragically, most Christians only know a few facts about the cross, which is the center of their faith.